Sunderland need to splash out £40million this summer to improve squad

Sunderland need to splash out at least £40million on new transfers this summer if they are to stand a chance of competing in the Premier League.

Wednesday, 1st June 2016, 5:44 am
Sam Allardyce

That’s the view of the vast majority of Sunderland supporters in our Big Sunderland AFC Survey.

In January, Allardyce spent close to £15million on recruits Wahbi Khazri (£9million), Lamine Kone (£5million) and Jan Kirchhoff (£750,000).

Liam Bridcutt

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

But supporters think it will need more than double that amount again to improve the current squad ahead of a highly-competitive 2016-17 campaign.

Our survey revealed 57.4 per cent of supporters think somewhere between £30million and £40million is required, while a further 32 per cent called for £40million plus.

Sunderland will have to be competitive to land their top targets with the bumper new £100million television deal set to see prices rocket.

Just 10 per cent of fans thought £10million to £20million would be enough to improve the squad.

Liam Bridcutt

Signing quality new players was the main priority, with eight out of ten supporters highlighting that as the key to success.

Ensuring the team got off to a flying start with a good pre-season came second, with fans not keen on another long haul pre-season programme.

Supporters were adamant over which area of the side needs the most investment – with almost half of fans calling for Sam Allardyce to prioritise strikers.

Jermain Defoe was last season’s top scorer with 15 in the top flight but Allardyce & Co cannot rely solely on the 33-year-old to reach the same heights again.

With out of contract duo Danny Graham and Steven Fletcher set to leave and loanee Dame N’Doye not due back, Allardyce is short of striking options.

£10million-rated West Ham United striker Diafra Sakho is among those linked.

Around a third of fans wanted the midfield prioritising, with 19 per cent calling for defensive reinforcements.

Meanwhile, fans were divided over which player Sunderland should look to offload first.

Scotland midfielder Liam Bridcutt topped the public vote with 31 per cent of votes, but winger Will Buckley, defenders Adam Matthews and Santiago Vergini and winger Jeremain Lens also picked up a significant number of votes.

Bridcutt is not part of Allardyce’s plans and spent the second half of the 2015-16 campaign on loan at Leeds United.

A return to Elland Road is on the cards.

Fans have called for two players that do have a big future at Sunderland – goalkeeper Jordan Pickford and livewire forward Duncan Watmore – to play more first team football next year.

More than 44 per cent backed Pickford to be given a run in goal.

Winger Rees Greenwood – who made his debut at Watford – was third behind Watmore, with 10 per cent backing his first team calls.

Meanwhile, a majority are confident ahead of next season with 72.8 per cent voting for a finish somewhere between 11th and 17th. A quarter of fans have high hopes of a finish between 7th and 10th, with just a small amount believing the club will be relegated.

Our survey continues tomorrow with your player and goal of the season.